Berhampur, Nov. 30: The participation of young talents in the annual Ganjam district level Youth and Cultural Festival-2011 has dipped to an all-time low this year. The one-day fest, which is being organised for the past 17 years, began today at the Berhampur Stadium here. “The response has never been so poor,” said Akshya Kumar Patnaik, district sports officer and nodal officer for the festival.
“We had informed the block authorities, schools and colleges over a week ago to send as many talented youngsters in the age group of 15 to 36 years to participate here. However, only 72 participants from six of the 22 blocks of Ganjam have come. The low participation rate is quite discouraging,” he said.
The participants belong to the blocks of Rangeilunda (13), Ganjam (12), Chatrapur (11), Bhanjanagar (eight), Jagannathprasad (seven) and Beguniapada (two), while 19 others have enrolled from Berhampur city. Since exams are on in schools and colleges, many might not have been able to participate in the various competitions said Patnaik. The competition would be held in events such as folk dance, folk song, one-act play, elocution, Hindustani vocal, sitar, flute, tabla, veena, mridangam, harmonium, Odissi dance, Bharatnatyam, and kuchipudi. The winners would qualify for the state-level competition to be held at Subarnapur during the second week of December.
One of the judges at this festival, Arun Kumar Satpathy said the artistes of Ganjam have excelled in the national and international events. “So it is natural for us to expect more and more youngsters to come forward to take part in this festival but somehow the response has been very poor,” he said.